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Brazil Travel

Porto Seguro

Brazil Travel / Mata Atlântica – Porto Seguro is the main ecotourism destination of the so-called Discovery Coast, 700 km south of Salvador. The city owes its name to the famous letter of Pero Vaz de Caminha, secretary of Cabral's fleet, which on March 24, 1500, in search for a save haven (porto seguro) anchored south of Baía Cabrália, about 12 km north of today's Porto Seguro.

In 1532, when the Brazilian coast was constantly plundered by pirates and corsairs and when the rumours intensified about the discovery of precious stones and metals in the Spanish part of the "New World", Portugal finally decided to organize the occupation of its new territory by introducing so - called captaincies (capitanias hereditárias).

The Captaincy of Porto Seguro which extended from the southern shore of the Jequitinhonha river to the northern shore of the Doce river , was given to Pero Campos de Tourinho, a Portuguese nobleman from Viana do Castelo. In 1534, Tourinho founded the village Nossa Senhora da Pena, where today the upper part of the town of Porto Seguro is located.

With the creation of the captaincies, the economy diversified and the village became a starting point for expeditions to the countries interior, in search for precious stones and metals. Also, many sugar cane plantations and distilleries were installed. Like most of the other captaincies, Porto Seguro suffered from constant Indian atacks, a situation that only improved when Portugal finally decided to establish an official government there, together with more troops to defend the coast.

In 1976, the historic centre of Porto Seguro, consisting of the three churches Nossa Senhora da Misericórdia (1530), Nossa Senhora do Rosário (1534) and Nossa Senhora da Penha (1718) such as the former jail and the monument marking the landfall of Gonçalo Coelho, was declared a National Heritage Site – Adventure Tours / Brazil.

See also: Tour Porto Seguro - Salvador / Climate